Solve the Outbreak LogoTitle: Solve the Outbreak
Platform: iPad with iOS 5.1 or above
Cost: Free

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new iPad app that lets you take a stab at solving the types of outbreaks that the CDC’s “disease detectives” must respond to at a moment’s notice. Right now, there are three outbreaks to choose from with more planned for the future. In each, you are presented with the same sort of data and information that would be collected in a realworld outbreak. Using these clues, you must decide what actions to take to limit the spread of the disease and to determine what caused the outbreak in the first place. Each correct choice that you make earns you points and allows you to advance from a Trainee to a Disease Detective along the way.

Solve the Outbreak Screenshot
Of the three outbreaks currently included in the app, two are set in the U.S. and one is set in Kenya. This makes for a nice combination of outbreaks that will seem familiar to the average player in the U.S. while still teaching about the CDC’s efforts elsewhere in the world and each outbreak includes a link to more information about the real life events that inspired it.

I really like the way that this app teaches medical information through a very realistic presentation. It incorporates medical terminology and tools with the option to click through to a separate section of the app to learn more information about many of these elements. This app would be a great educational tool for teens studying biology or those who are interested in medicine. Each outbreak can be restarted, which means that multiple people could play through an outbreak on a single device, but points persist even if you restart an outbreak and players don’t register, so it wouldn’t be possible to keep the points separate for multiple players on a single device in a classroom or library setting. But, despite this minor limitation, this app is a great option for those interested in finding STEM apps for teens.

Solve the Outbreak Screenshot

For more app recommendations, check out the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

About Carli Spina

Carli Spina is an Emerging Technologies and Research Librarian. She also writes for YALSA's The Hub blog, where she is on the Advisory Board, and for the Lolly's Classroom blog hosted by The Horn Book. Follow her on Twitter to continue the conversation: @CarliSpina.

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